Jasper Johns

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Jasper Johns was a painter, sculptor, and a printmaker. He was one of America's best known post abstract expressionists and minimalists. When people think of Jasper Johns they usually think about pictures of flags and numbers. Johns completed his first flag painting in 1955. He was born in Allendale, South Carolina and grew up with no formal art training but did attend the University of South Carolina for two years. In 1949, he moved to New York City but was drafted into the Army. Returning to New York, he began experimenting with styles and "Flag", dated 1955 earned him his first major attention. It was revolutionary in that it was simply a geometric design on a large canvas, separate from any emotion. Over the next few years, Johns used the same approach with other images that were traditionally symbols. In 1956 to 1957, he added numbers to his paintings. In 1960, he did his first lithographs. In 1959, his work became very abstract with very bold colors with letters and other symbols, such as maps and some difficult to read. In the late 1990's, Johns has been working from a barn in Sharon, Connecticut and has a strange hobby of raising bees. I think that Jasper Johns' earlier work was more plain and just "there" while his later work was much more diverse. Some of his later paintings were extremely colorful and vibrant while others made you depressed by just staring at them. I also believed his later work took much more skill on his part. I find that the painting of the United States where it is very colorful and somewhat smudgy is great because it is very pleasing and it makes you wonder why he picked a map to paint. While some people think that his paintings did not take any skill and anyone could do them, I do not think that. Some people could reproduce his paintings but no one could have thought up the ideas in the first place but Jasper Johns. Normal

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